Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cowboy Sketch

Just a quick upload, so that my blog feels less abandoned. I have been doing hours and hours of tutorials of late, so all I have lying around are notes, which I don't really think are interesting enough to upload. But I thought I should put up SOMETHING, so here's a quick "painting" (I use that term loosely) of Magnificent Seven's Bernardo O'Reilly. I was using direct photo reference, since I was just trying to find photoshop brush settings that I like, but it still doesn't really look anything like Bernardo. Oh Realism, it's been far too long!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Inktober 16 - 18

Freak Out!

At the request of my brother, you get Gir (with piggy) and Freakazoid. If you grew up on these shows, I regret to inform you that you are very likely insane. :) I only had a little space left on my page, so I also did a mini-Tessai from Samurai 7.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Inktober 13 - 15

I'm only half way through these drawings, and already art block is trying to trip me up. Here are three more:

Poor Sherlock Holmes suffered the brunt of my art block, I think. Ronald Howard would be ashamed. We also have Pikachu (don't say I never do anything for you, cousin!), and Pitch Black from Rise of the Guardians. Being his bad self.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inktober 10 - 12

This is a record. Two days in a row that I've actually uploaded drawings for Inktober. I think playing the Game of Thrones theme on repeat was a primary factor in my sudden burst of motivation. Nothing says epic like the theme to that show!

Today we have Kell (one of my characters, the pose was directly referenced), a somewhat disturbed looking tiger (and with scribbly legs like that, he probably has a right to be disturbed), and DC Nation Animal Man. Because he totally saved that cow.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Inktober 7 - 9

Oh look, random ink drawings:

Nothing makes a sketchbook look quite as legit as a page full of Question, Companion Cube, and comic book Loki. Just saying. Oh yeah, and little chess piece Thor. Because... He had to be there somewhere.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Inktober 4 - 6

Round two:

This time we have mini - Kirk vs. mini - Darth Vader duking it out over their toys (the Enterprise and the Death Star, respectively), Argonath from Lord of the Rings, and one of my own characters with her pet tarantula.

I've also found that I cannot draw rocks. I will leave you in peace while I go research rock formations.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inktober 1 - 3

Playing a bit of catch-up on Inktober (just found out about it), so here are my first three sketches:

We have here (in left to right order): Short-armed Dinosaur vs. Unimpressed Chicken, Captain America, Cyborg 004. The first two were done with pilot fine point ink pens, the third was a good ol' sharpie sketch.

Enjoy! And if you're interested in doing Inktober, go here for a quick summary of what it is: Click It

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Banjo Pig: The Sepia Sequel

Two blog posts in one week, say WHAT?! I guess computer deprivation is a good source of motivation for me or something. That or my new pen nib is just that fun to draw with. :)

I found the sketch for this floating in a folder from a few years ago. I liked it, though, so here's the final product years later:

Join the duel: Battle with banjos!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IF - Power

Look, an Illustration Friday post! I haven't done one of those for a while (partly due to computer issues), but I'm making up for that with this entry. Not only did I do a background, but I even tried to play with color a little bit! I'm still working on the whole color thing, but I think I'm making some progress. Regardless, my entry for this week's theme, "Power", :

The kid with the cape: Either you knew one, or you were one. :) This is also a nod to the power of mom's, who gain wall-crawling, super strength, and super speed abilities whenever their children attempt to do something incredibly stupid. Like, say, trying to jump off of the roof while channeling their inner superhero?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Coloring Books

Alright, fellow denizens of the art world, break out your Crayolas! Because my computer was down for maintenance recently, I haven't been able to do any art, so I thought I would showcase some new art books I've recently read instead of going into hiding while I reinstall all of my programs. These are no ordinary art books, though. No, these are books about COLOR! Whether you love it or you hate it, color will always be there, so here are some books that might help you understand color enough that it doesn't make you run screaming in the other direction:

Titles: Light for Visual Artists (Richard Yot) and The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics (by Chiarello and Klein)

Who should read them: Every visual artist. Seriously, I think that anyone that works with light and color would greatly benefit from either of these books. Richard Yot's book is a very good general resource on color, while the DC Guide is especially helpful with digital color.

Why are they awesome?:

First, Light for Visual Artists: Anyone with a career that requires an intimate knowledge of light or color really should have this book within reading distance. This is without a doubt one of the most comprehensive and in depth look at light that I have ever seen in any art book (and I've read quite a few). Every light concept (like shadows, reflections, diffusion, translucence, etc.) is explained scientifically (the "how" of light), usually followed by a more practical "artist" definition. And, of course, each concept is provided diagrams, photography, and artwork to illustrate what the author is explaining, which is immensely helpful for visually-inclined learners. And at the end of each chapter is an example or assignment that allows the reader to see each chapter's given topics in action. There is so much information that I really do feel the need to reread this book at least a couple more times for all of the information to start sinking in.

If you have not yet read this book, I highly recommend you find a copy.

As for the DC Guide to Coloring, first let me admit (somewhat shamefully) that I only glanced through the section about lettering. From what I saw, the section on lettering is very comprehensive and would be a wonderful resource for anyone interested in that aspect of comics. As I am not one of those people, I mostly focused on the color chapters. This book, like Light for Visual Artists, goes over some of the topics relating to color, although on a more general level (hue, saturation, etc.). Where this book shines, though, is in the explanation of how color on the computer works. Because artists (myself included) tend to be overwhelmed or confused by the literal thousands of colors and options that computer art programs give them, color on the computer can be incredibly tedious. The DC Guide to Coloring and Lettering breaks everything down, explaining the difference between things like color profiles (RGB vs. CYMK), aliasing vs. anti-aliasing, and other topics that computer colorists run into. For the comic artists out there, there are also great step-by-step instructions on the DC Comics coloring workflow that breaks down coloring even further, explanations of how color usage can affect story, different styles of comic coloring, etc. And best of all, while you learn how to be competent with computer color you get to look at oodles of superhero artwork! I'd call that a win-win scenario.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wherein I Actually Use Ink

You would think I would have more pictures involving ink in some way considering the title of my blog.

At any rate, this is for a DeviantArt challenge: Design a weapon, and then a character based on that weapon. I ended up with a Lilo and Stitch-esque moon priest. Fittingly, I used watercolor for the color. :) And yes, I used blue. I use blue too much, I think, but lo! This time I have an excuse, because I have a very minimal set of watercolors. Yup, you heard right, I'm blaming my watercolors. Because blaming my love of the color blue would be too truthful.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

IF - Surveillance

Because nothing says stealthy surveillance like people with audio recording equipment! When I read the word "Surveillance" on Illustration Friday for this week's theme, the first thing that popped into my head was the various lessons on sneaky audio recording techniques that were taught in an audio class that I took. In my opinion, no matter how you do it you look incredibly suspicious to random civilians, but that doesn't stop students with a zoom kit from trying to be ninjas. :)

I did this one in watercolor, just for kicks. Unfortunately my scanner decided to put a layer of blue over everything, so even after some color correction, the colors still look pretty bizarre.

And for those wondering about the lull in uploads, I am currently computerless (due to no space to set up my computer). So for now, uploads will be slow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

IF - Train

In my mind, this week's Illustration Friday theme "Train" apparently equates "Samurai in snowy forest". I even attempted to do a decent background, for this one, too. Because samurai are worth it.

This guy is actually one of my own personal characters, albeit incredibly off model. Regardless, this drawing was fun to do, and I like the results. I guess I should draw people chopping trees in half more often!

Monday, March 25, 2013

About Time

I haven't updated my blog for a while, but before anyone grabs for their pitchfork and begins prodding at the procrastinator, I do have a reason. Behold:

A Portfolio Site

It's still a work in progress (and I'm still getting stuff ready to upload), but I think I have it more or less ironed out. At least, enough that I can start shamelessly promoting it. My one and only official portfolio website! Check it out! Let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Illustration Friday - Wool

Phew... And another Illustration Friday is finished barely in time! It is not a drawing without faults, of course, because I was messing around with new ways of adding color (which I'm not sure were entirely successful), but at least I made myself do a background. :) My entry for the IF theme "Wool":

I won't lie, I definitely had "Baa Baa Black Sheep" going through my head when I was doing this. As such, you are all required to hum that song to yourself as you view the entries for this week. :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chump Change

I recently attended the local ADDY Awards with a group of folks, knowing that I may or may have not have a good reason to be there. Imagine my surprise when I found out that my six-page graphic novel "Chump Change" was awarded a Silver ADDY Award in the category of Visual Illustration. On top of that, we had quite a few people from our group walk away with Gold and Silver awards, and even a Popular Choice award. Talk about cool!

Even more cool, however, are the trophy's we all got today. I now have something to proudly put on display in my room, and it has a giant 'I' on the top of it! I don't know what the 'I' means, but we determined that our trophies combined can spell fun things (as not all of the letters on top are the same).

To see what the ADDY Awards are about, click here.

And to read "Chump Change", click here. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Emma's Dilemma

I just realized that I haven't uploaded anything artistic-y for a while. This is mostly because I've been in full swing making a portfolio website and cranking out base meshes for my senior project, and partly because I just plain keep forgetting to upload things. Like, say, a drawing I did for a Character Mentor assignment which may or may not have been collecting digital dust on my computer for a while now.

The prompt was to draw Generic Girl Emma reacting to something in her hand. Naturally that led to a drawing with mice leaping from hamburgers.

My thought trains require no logic to reach their destination!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Books: Your Career in Animation

Since I read a lot of books, and thus have a relatively endless supply of books to post about on my blog, I decided that I should probably just start labeling these blog entries with the title of the targeted book. Why I didn't just do this to begin with, I have no idea. But regardless, I just finished a book yesterday that I thought I should promote.

Title: Your Career in Animation: How to Survive and Thrive (David B. Levy)

Who should read it: Animators and related fields, some film production people.

Why is it awesome?:

I knew this book would be good the moment I saw the cover. Samurai Jack fighting Aku? This book has to be amazing! Just be careful when you open it, though, because you will be instantly buried under a veritable landslide of information about the animation field of work. I was impressed at how much this book covers in just 235 pages. Your Career in Animation explains what looking for work might be like, how to effectively network, how to play nice in the workplace, how to pitch, how to be successful in animation, how to freelance, how to make a living doing indie films, etc. Honestly, if I listed all of the information it covers it would go on for a paragraph or two, so I'll spare you the text wall. (A few of my favorite sections include When Creators Attack..., The Three Nevers, and the Animation Career Strategy Survival List. If you ever pick up a copy of the book, keep an eye out for those segments.)

Apart from the sheer amount of information you get from Your Career in Animation, the author also includes quotes and advice from animation titans, photos and stills of animated shorts, and stories from the industry that further illustrate, clarify, and expand upon the information in each chapter. Also helpful is the breakdown of different jobs in the animation field (such as directing, sheet timing, story boarding, etc.) that helps to explain what people are looking for and what you should be prepared to show a potential employer. And possibly the best feature of the book is the Appendix. You know, the part of the book that most people skip? Well, go back and take a look at this one, because it lists festivals, events, schools, and other resources that animators should be aware of. Really, the word "goldmine" pretty accurately sums up this book for anyone interested in animation as a career. Pick it up, read it, and then re-read it. If, when you finish, your book refuses to close because of how many placeholders and dog-eared pages you put in there (like my copy), you can consider this book well worth the purchase.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Book a Day

Because my Christmas Break is now over, I thought it would be a good idea to do a new entry for my blog (which was sadly neglected in favor of Christmas and all of the wonderful joys and anxieties that go with it). But instead of doing the predictable thing and uploading some digitized project bits, I thought I would do a mini sequel to my how-to-draw blog post. Feel free to run screaming from this webspace. :)

Title: Character Mentor (by Tom Bancroft)

Who should read it: Casual and Advanced artists, illustrators, comic book/graphic novel artists, animators.

Why is it awesome?:

Quite a few people are a aware that I basically swear by Mr. Bancroft's first book (Creating Characters with Personality), so I was incredibly stoked to get my hands on the sort-of sequel. I read it the day it came in the mail, and I was NOT disappointed. While the first book focused on various aspects of character design, this book focuses on what to do with your character once you've made it amazing. Touching on subjects like perspective, line of action, posing, movement, emoting, and composition, among other things. I think my personal favorite sections were the discussion about different types of shots (Choosing Your Shot), the eyes, mouth, and neck, and the whole chapter on posing.

Unlike the original book, this how-to does not really have an assignment at the end of each chapter that allows the reader to test what they've learned. However, Mr. Bancroft included assignments that he has given out before, which include both the student art and notes on improving what was turned in. For those of us who learn from critiques, this is invaluable information. Also returning in Character Mentor are the assignments done by professional guests. It's always fun to see how different professionals approach the same set of given parameters, so be sure to take a look at those.

I highly recommend Character Mentor to any aspiring artist. Paired with Creating Characters with Personality it covers a lot of basic (and advanced) character design and drawing techniques that any artist would benefit from knowing. Pick it up and "learn by example how to bring your characters to life". :D